EarthBeat Weekly: US Budget Bill Will Also Affect Global Climate | Earth beat
Editor’s Note: EarthBeat Weekly is your weekly newsletter on faith and climate change. Below is the September 24 edition. To get EarthBeat Weekly delivered to your inbox, sign up here.
We’re only five weeks away from the start of the United Nations climate conference, known as COP26, which observers call the last best chance to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. But although scientists say there is still time to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels, the nations of the world are still far from this goal.
A new UN report on country commitments shows greenhouse gas emissions are on track to increase 16.3% from 2010 levels by 2030, when they are expected to rise. drops 45% from 2010 levels by that year to stay within the critical limit of 1.5 ° C. .
Most countries, including the United States, the largest historical emitter, have failed to take the necessary action. And much of the ability of the United States to meet its commitments will depend on the budget legislation currently before Congress, which is meeting stiff resistance.
A detailed report from Inside Climate News details the billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions at stake in the budget package, showing why the outcome of legislative wrangling over the bill will be critical, not just for citizens. United States, but also for the international climate of November. negotiations.
Among other things, the bill supports a shift towards renewable energies. But this video from Vox explains in six minutes how the transmission line network in the United States will need to expand to move this energy from the Midwest to urban centers, and why that could be an obstacle to the rapid greening of the energy grid. .
A new clean energy and climate bill signed in Illinois on September 15 provides a window into the brewing battles for clean energy at the national level. In that debate, Democrats argued for the bill’s long-term benefits, while Republicans decried the costs and critics said the measure favored energy-intensive urban areas.
The global lack of pledges is why young people around the world took to the streets again on September 24 to stage climate strikes, just days after a new study was released showing high levels sadness and anxiety about climate change among 16 to 25 year olds. years.
And that’s why religious leaders are calling passage of the budget bill a moral imperative, as NCR environmental correspondent Brian Roewe recently wrote. In the coming weeks, EarthBeat will dig deeper into what is at stake in the Glasgow negotiations – and why Catholics should care.
Here’s what’s new on EarthBeat this week:
This week we shed light on people of faith speaking out and taking action on climate and other environmental issues.
- Molly Burhans, a young Catholic with a passion for maps, shared with us how mapping enables people to better understand the social, ecological and economic values of their land – and how she helps the Catholic Church use this knowledge for the benefit of the community. planet.
- In the Midwest, the Catholic leader of the Iowa Business for Clean Energy – who describes himself as a “tree-loving Republican” – told NCR environmental correspondent Brian Roewe that faith can inspire homeowners. company to make their operations greener, even if they don’t. fully adhere to a national climate agenda.
- And in this third week of the season of creation, EarthBeat’s “At Home in Creation” reflection series has drawn our attention to the air – the air we breathe, the breath of Spirit, inequalities in exposure to pollution and a remarkable leader of the Catholic community. which has been spearheading the fight against more pollution in “Cancer Alley” in Louisiana.
- In Brazil, Catholic leaders decried not only the forest fires raging in the Amazon Basin and other important ecosystems, but also human activities – particularly unregulated gold mining and poorly managed agriculture – which led to the fires, writes Eduardo Campos Lima.
- These activities threaten indigenous territories, and Brazil’s Supreme Court is reviewing the constitutionality of proposed legislation that could further undermine indigenous land rights, reports Lise Alves for Catholic New Service.
- On the other side of the globe, the CNS reported that a new bishop in the southern Philippines has pledged to focus his ministry on the environment and urged Catholics in his diocese to take care of the Earth, as he said. underlined Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si ‘.
- The CNS also reported that UK religious leaders have issued a statement calling on government leaders to take urgent climate action and pledging their congregations to do the same.
- And in Africa, Catholics marked the season of creation with a virtual event that highlighted the importance of the Congo Basin for global climate stability and examined the threats to its forests and wetlands, writes Frederick Nzwili. for CNS.
Here’s what we heard from our readers:
While EarthBeat reader Rosalind Carr was inspired by Burhans’ work, she was also reminded that women’s contributions are too often overlooked:
“Molly Burhans’ work sounds so… I can’t find enough adjectives to praise it. BUT I’m going to call attention to one thing she said.” One of the beautiful original visions of GoodLands that we still have, “she said.,” is see Catholic conservation [reach] the scale of Catholic health care and education around the world, as the largest global network the world has ever known. ‘
“We have to remember that health care and education was built by the women of the church. If it hadn’t been for the nuns, I seriously doubt that any of this would have happened. In fact, Now that the number of women entering religious life has declined, Catholic health care and education is also declining. Catholic hospitals are taken over by big business and schools are closing across the country. … We need a leadership conversion.
And readers Frank and Jerry Gold found this week’s thoughts on “At Home in Creation” to be a breath of fresh air: “What a great reminder! I am always amazed and saddened that all of us humans cannot recognize our intimate bond and our unity as we breathe the same air! … Yes to life and to hope!
Thanks to our readers who take the time to let us know what we are doing well and where we are failing. To weigh in on a story, drop us a line at [email protected]
And here are some novelties in other climate news:
- The Biden administration has finalized its first climate rule, which will dramatically reduce the use and production of hydrofluorocarbons, a potent greenhouse gas that often leaks out of supermarket freezers, writes Dino Grandoni to the Washington Post.
- Reuters reports that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fined Enbridge Inc. $ 3.32 million for perforating an aquifer during construction of its controversial Line 3 pipeline.
- Jack Igelman of Carolina Public Press takes a look at North Carolina’s commercial fishing industry, which is struggling to adapt to climate change, in addition to other stressors.
- New research shows that in Australia, about 20% of climate credits for “avoided deforestation”, paid for with some $ 310 million in public funds under a government program, have likely done nothing to help the country. climate, reports Adam Morton for The Guardian.
Events to come:
There’s a lot happening this week in Catholic climate cyberspace, from a webinar on climate refugees to a guided tour of the Laudato Si ‘platform of action. And on September 29 at 2 p.m. CST, EarthBeat and Global Sisters Report will host a conversation about how religious communities of women are protecting parts of their land for future generations.
You can find more information about these and other upcoming events on the EarthBeat Events page. And you can add your own group’s events here.
This week, EarthBeat told stories about inspiring Catholics tackling climate issues. Who inspired you on this trip? Tell us about them in 150 words or less in a Little Earth History.
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